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Jess Lee for The DEV Team

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Today is Earth Day; Devs can have an impact

The planet’s largest civic event was held on April 22, 1970 -- the very first Earth Day, kicking off the modern day environmental movement. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, we wanted to tell you all a bit about Sloan the sloth, our loving mascot.

Sloan has been with us since the Summer of 2017, working hard at moderating discussions and welcoming new users to the community. She has a pretty important job! On top of these responsibilities, Sloan also publishes posts for members who would like to remain anonymous while they seek advice from the community. You can check out some of her posts here:

Clearly, Sloan is not a lazy sloth -- she’s just slow moving, and being slow has actually helped sloths survive on this planet for almost 64 million years! It’s an incredible tactical strategy that us humans could probably practice every now and then. For those of you curious, Sloan is part of the Bradypodidae family of sloths. The main distinction between her family and the other sloth family, Megalonychidae, is that Sloan is three-fingered instead of two-fingered. While this distinction may seem minor, these two families of sloths carry very different lifestyles!

You can have an impact

Due to the impact of COVID-19, there has been an unprecedented decline in donations to animal conservation efforts. While the virus has caused global hardships, we cannot totally disengage with the ongoing need to support environmental efforts. If you are in a situation, as a software developer, where your employment situation has not been upended by the pandemic, we ask that you consider donating to a conservation foundation.

If you’d like to learn more about sloths, today’s your lucky day. We invited Dr. Rebecca Cliffe, Founder and Executive Director at The Sloth Conservatory Foundation to host a #watercooler AMA on DEV. Check it out here:

Here are some non-profit organizations to support:

Software developers can also make an impact writing code.

Here are some cool OSS projects to check out: is an open source solution for animal shelter and rescue group management:

GitHub logo bobintetley / asm3

Animal Shelter Manager

Animal Shelter Manager v3 (sheltermanager3)

This program is covered by the terms of the GNU General Public Licence v3 See the file LICENSE in this directory for details.

As of version 45, ASM no longer supports Python 2.

Python >= 3.6 is required for f-string support.


If you are using a Debian-based system (eg: Ubuntu), then the following will install all the software you need to run ASM. If you are using the sheltermanager3 deb package it already has dependencies set for these and will install them for you.

  • apt-get install make python3 python3-cheroot python3-pil python3-mysqldb python3-psycopg2

Extra, non-mandatory packages:

  • apt-get install python3-memcache memcached (for multiprocess sessions)
  • apt-get install imagemagick (for scaling/compressing PDFs to save on storage)
  • apt-get install wkhtmltopdf (for creating PDFs from HTML document templates)
  • apt-get install python3-xhtml2pdf (pure Python lib for creating PDFs from HTML document templates)
  • apt-get install python3-reportlab (for creating mailing label PDFs)
  • apt-get…

Public Lab

Public Lab is a community and a non-profit, democratizing science to address environmental issues that affect people:

GitHub logo publiclab / plots2

a collaborative knowledge-exchange platform in Rails; we welcome first-time contributors! 🎈

Code of Conduct Build Status first-timers-only-friendly Join the chat at Code Climate codecov View performance data on Skylight Newcomers welcome GitHub license Gitpod Ready-to-Code

The content management system for the Public Lab research community, the plots2 web application is a combination of a group research blog -what we call "research notes"-and a wiki. Read more about the data model here.

Begin running (and contributing to) this codebase immediately with GitPod:

Open in Gitpod

It showcases a variety of features that help the Public Lab community collaborate on environmental technology, design, documentation, and community organizing. Originally a Drupal site, it was rewritten in 2012 with Ruby on Rails and has since extended but not yet entirely replaced the legacy Drupal data model and database design. We ❤️ Open Source and actively participate in various OSS programs such as Google Summer of Code(GSoC), Rails Girls Summer of Code (RGSoC), Outreachy, and Google Code-In (GCI) Some key features include:

Moja Global

Moja Global provides tools for estimating emissions and removals of greenhouse gases from the land sector:

GitHub logo moja-global / About_moja_global

About moja global and How We Work

All Contributors

moja global

This repository provides information about the moja global organization and its tools. You can find out who we are, what we do and most importantly, how we work and how you can contribute.

What is moja global?

moja global is a collaboration under the Linux Foundation that aims for the widest possible collaboration on and use of credible tools to better manage the land sector. The flagship software is the Full Lands Integration Tool (FLINT), a tool to estimate emissions and sinks of greenhouse gasses from forestry and agriculture.

Why moja global?

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. Globally, more than 25% of the greenhouse gasses emissions are caused by the land use, mainly agriculture and forestry. But plants are also the easiest way to take CO2 out of the atmosphere again. So while land use is now part of the problem, we want…


Climatescape is an open database of organizations leading the fight against climate change.

GitHub logo climatescape /

Discover the organizations solving climate change


Discover the organizations solving climate change

This is the source code behind, an open database of organizations leading the fight against climate change.

Developer Setup

Note: you need to be invited to our Airtable project to run this project locally. The process is really simple and we accept anyone who's interested in helping out. Simply fill out the Climatescape Contributor Application.

  1. Follow these steps to get the project installed on your local dev machine
    $ git clone
    $ cd
    $ npm install
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  2. Copy your Airtable API key from this page: Airtable account
  3. Create a .env.development file at the root of the project replacing YOUR_KEY_HERE by the key you copied in the previous step
    $ cp .env.sample .env.development
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  4. Run the project like so
    $ npm run develop
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Want to preview changes on other devices?

Use the host option

$ npm run develop --
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Are there other organizations and projects that the community should be supporting? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Earth Day and Happy Coding!

Top comments (18)

andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown 🇨🇦

We're hanging out with Sloan today! I am starting my compost today to help so I can get my sustainable garden planned for next year.

All you need is grass clipping, dead leaves and branches and you can create rich rich soil

dana94 profile image
Dana Ottaviani

Nice! My family has a large bucket in the backyard where we throw all our foods we can compost instead of throwing them in the garbage. My mom gardens so she uses the soil in the Summer.

andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown 🇨🇦

I have a bunch of tupper in my basement so I'm going to drill holes in it and I hope that works.

Thread Thread
michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

You have a bunch of tupper where? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

lautarolobo profile image
Lautaro Lobo

Yeah my parents have that too, if you have a garden is a good idea to have one of those.

peter profile image
Peter Kim Frank

Awesome to hear that you are composting! I'm lucky that we have compost pick-up throughout my neighborhood (in Brooklyn, NY), but there's something so especially pure about contributing your own compost back into your own yard.

jess profile image
Jess Lee

@peter just a heads up that NYC compost collection is on pause until June 2021. Really quite devastating -- if you have the room, I highly recommend freezing your food scraps in compostable bags so you can bring them to the farmer's market when compost pick up resumes there. They're two different orgs so I'm pretty sure the farmers market one will open up much sooner.

@andrewbrown high-five!! COMPOSTING RULES.

Thread Thread
Sloan, the sloth mascot
Comment deleted
Sloan, the sloth mascot
Comment deleted
hongquangraem profile image
Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community. View Code of Conduct


ben profile image
Ben Halpern

If you know of other open source projects or initiatives that can be aided by coding of any kind, please do share here 💚

xomiamoore profile image
Mia Moore

I appreciate you highlighting things folks can do for Earth Day, today and every day!

I try my best on a personal level to make good choices for the environment -- my household composts, tries to avoid single-use plastic as much as possible, and I have been vegan for 7 years. Your diet can have a huge impact on the resources you use, so that's definitely an area to look into. Even one additional meatless meal a week does wonders! :)

youssefrabeiii profile image
Youssef Rabei

I made a post about how javascript save the earth, please check it out

jess profile image
Jess Lee

TwilioQuest has a goal of planting 10,000 trees to support reforestation efforts in Australia with their "Earth Day 2020" challenge.

johnkazer profile image
John Kazer

Tomorrow have a couple interesting apps in open source, one is a personal carbon footprinting tool that integrates with existing services (e.g. to include the carbon footprint of your Uber journey) and another that maps electricity emissions in your country.

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington • Edited
whiplaxx profile image

Devs do Brasil, vamos apoiar os nossos abrigos de animais, seja doando dinheiro ou outras coisas que ajudam, seja divulgando ou até adotando um animalzinho (se você tiver certeza que pode cuidar dele).
Vou colocar uma aqui que ajudo todo mês, mas por favor comenta as que conhecerem também.

(se fizer algum post no twitter pedindo pra ajudar também posta aqui que compartilho)

lisasy profile image
Lisa Sy (she/her)


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